I am often asked about non-prescription treatments for ADHD. Sometimes they are promoted as safe alternatives to medication; however, that is not often the case. Frequently, these claims are not backed up with good scientific studies to support their claims.
Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, Ph.D., in her book “Natural Relief for Adult ADHD” reviews the research and cites the non-medication treatments that have been shown to be effective at managing many of the symptoms of ADHD. She reminds us that there is no cure for ADHD. The goal of all treatments is to manage the symptoms.
Dr. Sarkis cites the following as having been shown to be effective, complementary non-medication treatments for ADHD:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Exercise, in all of its forms, including sports and instructor-led classes
- Mindfulness meditation
- Good sleep hygiene (going to bed and waking up at the same time every day and getting tested for sleep apnea, if needed)
- Omega supplements, especially omega-3
- A healthy balanced diet
Finally, Dr. Sarkis reminds us that we don’t need to spend a lot of money for many of these treatments. “Always look at the long-term benefits of the treatment. If you’re going to spend the time, energy and money on a treatment, you want a reduction of ADHD symptoms that continues throughout the treatment.”
You may have to try a few different approaches, alone and together, to find out what works best for you.
As with any treatment, it is strongly suggested that you keep a daily log of your symptoms so that you can track and notice any changes or improvement.
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